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The predictable Saudi decision.

November 21, 2018

Sometimes maybe we don’t need to know too much about how the sausage is made.

Plenty of people are outraged that the Saudi nation in general and their crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) in particular aren’t being held responsible for the heinous torture and murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

Actually it shouldn’t surprise anyone that absent photographic  evidence of MBS actually committing the crime, the U.S. is walking wide around the issue.

President Bush (43) did the same thing, even after definitive evidence was produced showing that several members of the Saudi royal family backed the 911 attackers, and he did it for the same reasons.

Even today, you’ll find a hell of a lot of people who think that turning the sand of Riyadh into a big glassy parking lot would have been and is the right response.

The problem is that of all the Arab nations, Saudi Arabia is the lesser of many evils.

There’s also the matter of considering whether Turkey might not be trying to use the U.S as a  proxy weapon to rid itself of its arch enemy.

Usually this kind of diplomatic chess game is played out in private.

However, this President ran on trying to be honest with the American people, and indeed, the reasons he gives for only punishing the actual people involved with the murder are very probably some of the actual reasons being head-gamed behind closed doors.

To a lot of people, the way we are handling the journalist’s murder is kind of like only charging a mob hit man with murder while giving Albert Anastasia the keys to the city.

Certainly no one including Presiden Trump thinks that there should be a price tag on Khasoggi’s life nor anyone elses, but it certainly sounds like that’s what we are doing.

Did we need to know the reasoning, given that ordinary folk tend to see global politics as a pretty black and white set of issues?

Probably not.

With all due respect to transparency, some things are better left behind those closed doors.


No column tomorrow.  Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

From → op-ed

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